The human body in two Egyptian dystopias: al-̣Tabūr (2013, The Queue) and Hunā badan (2017, Here Is a Body) by Basma ‘Abd al-‘Azīz

  • Maria Elena Paniconi University of Macerata
Keywords: Contemporary Arab novel, Egyptian Contemporary dystopia, Basma Abdel Aziz, al-Ṭabūr, Hunā badan


Against the backdrop of the recent resurfacing of the dystopian genre in the Arabic literary field, the Egyptian psychiatrist, essayist, and novelist Basma ‘Abd al-‘Azīz stands out for her political dystopias, which can be read as lucid projections of the ‘real malfunctioning’ of the Egyptian political system.
In this essay, building on a close-reading analysis and on two interviews given to me by the author between 2018 and 2023, I dissect the novel al-Ṭabūr (2012, The Queue 2016) and its prequel Hunā badan (2017, Here Is a Body 2021). In particular, I will focus on the trope of the human body as a ‘transformative space’ in which the oppressive authority can exert its control, its persuasion, and its strength to the point of creating bodies that lack minds.


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How to Cite
Paniconi, M. E. (2024). The human body in two Egyptian dystopias: al-̣Tabūr (2013, The Queue) and Hunā badan (2017, Here Is a Body) by Basma ‘Abd al-‘Azīz. Between, 14(27), 527-546.